Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), NTT and Itochu Corp, together with 10 other companies are taking a stake in Japan’s first 24-hour English-language broadcasting service, which local public broadcaster NHK which is due to launch in February, reports Nikkei, citing sources and picked up by Thomson Financial. NHK will issue about $1.8 million in new shares through private placements with these 13 investors, the paper said. Once the new shares are issued, NHK’s interest in the unit will drop to around 60 percent, and each of the 13 companies will have stakes of less than 5 percent each.
Both MSFT and NTT, which have expertise in digital media, plan to which broadcast the network online as well. This is the first such channel in Japan, and expects to reach 110 million households in North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and other areas of the world, says this report.